Michal Kaminski MEP elected leader of European Conservatives and Reformists
LOTS of happenings since my post of earlier.
Edward Macmillan-Scott was elected as a Tory MEP under a commitment to support the new European Parliamentary grouping but decided to stand against the ECR's candidate for the Vice Presidency of the Parliament. EMS was rightly expelled from the Conservative Party as a result. Thanks to mischief-voting by the EPP Mr Macmillan-Scott was elected and the ECR candidate - Poland's Michal Kaminski - was not.
This undid the deal that Timothy Kirkhope had done with other ECR member groups and he then stood aside as the leader of the ECR and Kaminski was elected the group's first leader.
The ECR is now the first group in the European Parliament to have a leader from the accession countries. 37 years of age Kaminski taught himself English by listening to illegal BBC World Service broadcasts. His first speech in the European Parliament was a tribute to Margaret Thatcher and, if that hadn't upset other MEPs enough, he concluded with a long tribute to Ronald Reagan.
Nirj Deva MEP told ConservativeHome: "After a roller coaster day things have ended well. We have a group leader who is dedicated to our common vision and the whole group owes Timothy Kirkhope a great deal for putting his own interests aside and ensuring the group survived Edward Macmillan-Scott's disloyalty."
More in the morning from Dan Hannan.
> 8am on 15th July: We can be very proud of our new leader in the European Parliament says Dan Hannan MEP